Television is all about the ratings, more now than ever. TV show’s survive and thrive on people watching them, nowadays the ratings of a television programme are totally different to 20 years ago. Now in 2012, the biggest television programme rating would reach 10 – 13 million people. Here in the UK the biggest programmes that are on TV are usually soaps and reality programmes.
Here I will be talking about what ratings mean and what they mean to us and how we watch television today.
Looking through the numbers on http://www.barb.co.uk (the biggest ratings focused website) I can see a pattern emerge. The big channels like BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV 1, Channel 4 and Five are all very different; with BBC 1 and ITV 1 being the two channels that reach the higher audiences. Each channels biggest show (minus the reality programmes) are the soaps. Eastenders and Coronation street reach 8-9 million viewers on a daily basis, which has gone down a considerable amount from when both shows were young and much fresher (they both have reached huge peaks of up to 40 million before), but these shows are the nations favourite and it shows through their viewership.
Shows like The Voice, Britains Got Talent, The Apprentice and The X Factor do much bigger than any other shows on national TV as they have been known to reach 8-19 million, this is mainly because of the type of show they are; generally being interactive and exciting to watch.
Looking at the shows and all of their ratings has helped me to see what kind of shows are really the biggest shows and what kinds aren’t, it allows me to see that chat shows do OK, not amazingly but some still perform well when they are on.
It has helped me to gain an understanding of TV and what people are watching, as well as learning more about what trends are in TV nowadays, with reviews on who are watching TV (something which is measured and estimated every so often).
It’s important to know who is watching because it allows the big stations to know what works and what doesn’t, clearly reality shows are the big hits that are on TV at the moment, as well as stable rating winners EastEnders & Coronation Street performing well daily.
America are totally different too, they have low ratings of 3 million to the biggest shows reaching a potential 30 million viewers. Their biggest shows are generally comedies like Two And A Half Men, which reached 28 million viewers in it’s ninth season premiere.
Competition is big and it’s always the channels that are trying to get the most views and creating the best shows so that they win. Ratings are more important than I previously thought.
http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/ – American Ratings
http://www.barb.co.uk – UK Ratings